Looking for ways to save on your average electric bill? While Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) have definite advantages over standard incandescent bulbs when it comes to electricity usage, money savings and longevity, they pale in comparison to the new Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. That’s right. The new CFL is the LED.
LED bulbs use less electricity than CFLs, and they last 25 times as long as a standard incandescent bulb. They’re also great for outdoor use because they stand up to all types of weather. The cold doesn’t even seem to bother them.
Of course, this sort of energy efficiency comes at a price. Some LED bulbs sell for close to $80.00 online. But, with a lifespan of about 50,000 hours, you’re looking at almost six years of constant light. And, since the LED equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent bulb only uses six watts, you can see how that would save on your average electric bill over time.
Over 50,000 hours of usage, a series of 25,000 (assuming an average lifespan of 2000 hours) 60 watt incandescent bulbs will use 3,000,000 watts – 3,000 kilowatts – of electricity. Let’s say you bought those bulbs in bulk, and only paid $0.50 each. That’s $12,500 spent on light bulbs to equal a single LED bulb. And, that’s not even taking into consideration that the LED bulb is only using one-tenth of the energy that the incandescent bulbs and doesn’t emit nearly the amount of heat.
The only problems with LED bulbs, other than the prohibitive cost, is that they shine light in one direction and the color temperature of the light is a bit stark and cold. This does make them ideal for use in spotlights outside, since you are looking for light to be in a certain direction and color temperature isn’t really a concern.
LEDs are also great for lighting up the landscaping around your home. Their directional light can produce some very dramatic effects, and they stay cool, so they won’t harm any delicate plants that they may be placed near.
Right now, based on cost and energy usage, CFLs are still the clear winner, but as technology advances and LEDs become cheaper to produce and can generate a warmer, more flattering light, look for them to take the lead. And, get ready to go for years, maybe even decades, without changing a light bulb. That’s where the real savings shine.